On Saturday, Sept 24, the No. 4-ranked Northwestern College football team stifled the 0-3 Concordia Bulldogs. An impressive feat by sophomore quarterback Jalyn Gramstad propelled the Raiders to 34 points with four rushing touchdowns and one passing touchdown to Michael Storey.
After four turnovers within the first-half, the frustrated Raiders faced a 10-0 Concordia lead going into halftime. Gramstad’s performance was unlike any of his previous performances. The Lester, Iowa native accredits the win to his team’s ability to overcome adversity.
“We got knocked down that first half, but we got right back up and came back firing,” said Gramstad
Two minutes into the third quarter, Gramstad scored his first rushing touchdown to spark the Raider’s action. Part of his support system included Parker Fryar, who tallied 16 tackles, almost sneaking into the program’s top-10 for most tackles in a game.
Though the Raiders made it seem easy, the real battle was fought in the locker room. Leaders stepped up and held one another accountable for their first-half mistakes.
“We were tested that game and it really showed a lot about the team and men we have in the locker room,” said Gramstad.
The team’s energy was contagious and created pressure for CUNE turnovers. An immediate Concordia unsportsmanlike penalty in the third quarter was welcomed with open arms. The second Gramstad TD was a 32-yard dash to raise the score to 13-10, and he did not let up the fight.
“Jalyn provided a spark for our team. We were able to create some big plays that changed the energy and how the game was played,” commented Coach Matthew McCarty.
A combination of six plays and an 86-yard drive created a hopeless situation for the Bulldogs. It was 20-10 at the end of the third quarter.
There was nothing complicated about the Raider’s game plan. What made the win special was the team’s ability to charge forward despite discouraging moments.
“[I am] proud of how our team responded to adversity. At half we talked about keeping it simple and getting back to doing what we do well,” said Coach McCarty.
The icing on the cake was a magnificent Gramstad pass to senior Michael Storey and eventually, with a minute dwindling on the clock, Gramstad finished the Bulldogs with his fourth touchdown of the game.
The Raiders beat the Bulldogs 34-10, and Gramstad’s leadership was rewarded with the Male Athlete of the Week award.
“It’s a cool honor and I’m very thankful,” said Gramstad. Our approach was to reset our minds from what all happened in the first